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  #1  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:02 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Default We are writing a Travel Book!!

Actually, the project was initiated about 2 years ago. By my wife and myself.

Why another travel book? Valid question, and an equally valid question would be have we ever written anything before? What shall it be about, when it is going to be ( if ever ) completed?

We have read, and benefited immensely from the known travel guides..Lonely planet, Rough Guides, Fodder's, AA, Michelin and various others.. too numerous to mention.

Most, if not all, of them have been written by ' White ' people and a very few, by those who have acquired citizenship of predominantly ' White countries '.

What is it like for a ' non-white ' especially Middle Eastern couple to travel abroad? We are a team..me I love photography, she loves adventure.

So what is ( and was ) it like for us pursuing our love for travel in a post 9/11 era.

This book is first and foremost a book of photography of different cultures, people, landscapes, mountain climbing, white water rafting..Climbing the Sydney Bridge, to spending night at Tibetan Monastries. It is about our experiences, our suggestions and our photographs.


The first chapter is nearing completion....

1. Applying for Visas and our Experiences at the Borders ( Ports of Entry ).

More to follow....
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  #2  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 05:46 AM
Nigel Allan Nigel Allan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Actually, the project was initiated about 2 years ago. By my wife and myself.

Why another travel book? Valid question, and an equally valid question would be have we ever written anything before? What shall it be about, when it is going to be ( if ever ) completed?

We have read, and benefited immensely from the known travel guides..Lonely planet, Rough Guides, Fodder's, AA, Michelin and various others.. too numerous to mention.

Most, if not all, of them have been written by ' White ' people and a very few, by those who have acquired citizenship of predominantly ' White countries '.

What is it like for a ' non-white ' especially Middle Eastern couple to travel abroad? We are a team..me I love photography, she loves adventure.

So what is ( and was ) it like for us pursuing our love for travel in a post 9/11 era.

This book is first and foremost a book of photography of different cultures, people, landscapes, mountain climbing, white water rafting..Climbing the Sydney Bridge, to spending night at Tibetan Monastries. It is about our experiences, our suggestions and our photographs.


The first chapter is nearing completion....

1. Applying for Visas and our Experiences at the Borders ( Ports of Entry ).

More to follow....
I culdn't think of a travel book I would rather have than one created by you and your lovely wife. No doubt it will be a photographic documentary of your travels and that alone makes it worthwhile having
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  #3  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 06:11 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Nigel, such a lovely, lovely thing to say. We are grateful.

We have rolled over in laughter thinking of our experiences. It basically is a tongue in cheek book, written
lightly, without pretense and without any intention of being negative about anyone or anything.

We remembered ' No sex, please..we are British ' from our time in the UK. The book is loosely illustrated
in a similar, lighthearted vein. It is our take on the immigration official who once asked me what my story
was and I started to recant the ' The thousand and one nights '!!

Best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Allan View Post
I culdn't think of a travel book I would rather have than one created by you and your lovely wife. No doubt it will be a photographic documentary of your travels and that alone makes it worthwhile having
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  #4  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:30 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
We remembered ' No sex, please..we are British ' from our time in the UK. The book is loosely illustrated in a similar, lighthearted vein. It is our take on the immigration official who once asked me what my story was and I started to recant the ' The thousand and one nights '!!
Hi Fahim,

LOL, and to think that everbody wants to "immigrate" is also a bit of a presumption, isn't it.

It'll be interesting reading your impressions no doubt.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #5  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:42 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Actually, the project was initiated about 2 years ago. By my wife and myself......

Most, if not all, of them have been written by ' White ' people and a very few, by those who have acquired citizenship of predominantly ' White countries '.

What is it like for a ' non-white ' especially Middle Eastern couple to travel abroad? We are a team..me I love photography, she loves adventure.
Fahim,

Where are you going to find the "Non-White" writers?

There was a rather contentious and somewhat violent demonstration in UCLA against the tuition fees being raised this autumn to balance the budget. The school simply had the choice of expelling students or raising the fees. The was a rather violent demonstration and it was made out to be an action by the school against people "of color", a PC term I abhor.

Well, in the line for boarding a plane to San Francisco for Thanksgiving was this beautiful well dressed student with several others behind. She was dark skinned as was the tall fellow behind. A discussion quickly moved to her hot-tempered views about the racist UCLA University society acting against people of "color" ..(cross-gender" etc) The fellow behind interjected "I'm not a black student, I'm a mathematician!"

The miffed young lady didn't get it at all. She was wrapped up in victimhood. I pointed out to her that she, above all should appreciate her lot in life being beautiful, not physically damaged, articulate and going to one of the best universities on the entire planet. I told her she might better think of causes that bring hope to those left behind in the inner cities and not be so narcissistic. So what if she owed money! She should contribute to her own fortune.

At the end, the mathematician gave me a big hug and said, she don't understand. Someday she might. (or words to that effect).

Asher
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  #6  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:15 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher, your point is well taken. I thought long and hard about what would be a PC term to state that
a light hearted travel book was being ( tried to being ) written from a non WASP perspective and by a non-WASP person/s. I am sure there must be a term or acronym ( some people love them ) for such. It has to be short and precise.

While I can appreciate ( and agree with ) your distaste for such labels, remember describing a person for
descriptive accuracy is not in and of itself offensive. e.g my late mother would write her medical notes in
which she would note the region/country ( origin ) of her patients. It would help her diagnosis, as women
from different parts of the globe either had or not higher probabilities of certain types of diseases.
Another example would be a police report..' white caucasian male..' Nothing derogatory about it, just a statement of fact. However, the context in which some descriptions ( labels ) are used is/are definitely
obnoxious.

I am no mathematician, but how about a country where at the passport counter I was asked..' is this your wife?', I looked at her and calmly replied ' no..but I am her husband '. The passport was duly
stamped and I was on my way. Guess that's all the English he knew!

p.s. ' dark skinned ' traveller/s then!
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  #7  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 01:03 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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The Un-Orient Express: Our informal, fun loving travel by cab, plane and train though exotic and charming places around the world. Seen from the eyes of a pair: a climber of everest and her husband, a charmer for life.
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  #8  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 02:52 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Hi Bart,

But one can't be too careful these days!

Regards,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Fahim,

LOL, and to think that everbody wants to "immigrate" is also a bit of a presumption, isn't it.

It'll be interesting reading your impressions no doubt.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #9  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 03:14 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Fahim, I am mixed-blood and considered "of color." I understand Asher's point, but respectfully submit he might feel differently if he were of color. Asher, my husband often refers to himself as an "invisible minority." People don't immediately recognize him as Jewish and so have made anti-semitic comments in his presence. He knows (as do you) a bit about prejudice. However, there are differences between anti-semitism and other forms of prejudice. The one that seems most salient to me is economic status. African-Americans, persons of Latino descent, and Native Americans are over-represented in groups who are economically disadvantaged (or, a lot Blacks, Latinos and Indians are poor folk). I believe economic status and the power attendant upon it has a lot to do with the issue. Likewise, economically disadvantaged persons of Euro descent (poor white folk) also experience a fair amount of discrimination.

Persons who are of Arab ancestry are in an extremely unique position right now. Many are of darker complexion (which often automatically generates prejudice) but many are also incredibly wealthy. Plus, the view toward "Arab terrorism" (I use quotes because I'm aware there are diverse and compelling perspectives on the issue) creates an unusual complexity of attitudes toward the group as a whole.

I dream of a world where such things do not matter. To quote someone who died for a vision of equality, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Fahim, please let me know when your book is published. I want a copy.

Last edited by Asher Kelman; December 22nd, 2009 at 04:16 PM.
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  #10  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:18 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster
Fahim, I am mixed-blood and considered "of color." I understand Asher's point, but respectfully submit he might feel differently if he were of color.
"Of Color" That's to me an unacceptable neoligism. Everyone has some color. I'm rather pink. When I was in a village in the Nigeria, the kids laughed their heads of thinking I had the skin of a pih, "Ey iboy" they'd cry!

If some has brown skin, call then that, if you wish and me pink skinned! Oriental, Caucasian is fine as well. But of color is nonsense?

Arabs? The poets, physicians and scientists of the Ottoman Empire come to mind. I wouldn't dream of calling them "of color" I see men and women. There's a tall one with a red suitcase, the man's half bald but has a moustache. Where, the beautiful English language is it worthy or helpful to add, "of color". It's a demeaning word!

That privileged black student at UCLA, calls herself "of color" Look how we've damaged our self worth!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster
Asher, my husband often refers to himself as an "invisible minority." People don't immediately recognize him as Jewish and so have made anti-semitic comments in his presence.
Let him go the Shuk, the Grand bazaar beneath Istanbul, and the gold traders will recognize any ethnicity in 10 seconds, a Jew in half that time! That's Europe for you!

Maybe for folk who have zero education, it's convenient to think of Blacks and Jews and Arabs but each is a person and we should make it our responsibility to educate ourselves to that fact! The prejudice, however, won't vanish until the preachers and parents teach differently.

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; December 22nd, 2009 at 07:06 PM.
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  #11  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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So, back to the book.

Fahim,

You have a lot of pictures already. Sorting them will be a mammoth task. how large will this book be and do you have a publisher or will it be self-published?

Asher
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  #12  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:26 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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We are trying to teach our children to value people on their heart and honesty, kindness and responsibility. I remember a few years ago we were in the car and my husband and I were discussing politics. I said the Democrats were going to give away the election My son (then 11) wanted to know why. I said because this country was not ready to elect a Black or a woman (and I was wrong!). He immediately launched in a spirited tirade about how gender and color were totally irrelevant, that people should be judged on character, kindness, decency and all those values we hold dear. That may have been my proudest moment as a parent: My son, red-faced with indignation, lecturing me on what's right and wrong. I'll remember that with great pride until the day I die, I think.

And, as Asher said, back to the book!
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  #13  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:02 PM
Wendy Thurman Wendy Thurman is offline
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Fahim-

Would absolutely love to buy a copy when it's done- please keep us apprised of the status.

Warmest Regards,

Wendy
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  #14  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:19 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Thank you all kindly for your interest in our travel book.

Asher, we intend to keep the writings short ( obviously ) and mostly include photographs. The book is
going to be self-published, and we are discussing various formats and prices! It is a 'still in early stages'
undertaking.
The sorting of photographs is well underway. The difficult part being to decide on how far we should go back. Scanning film would be very time-consuming as our scanner is very basic.

The serious stuff is not so serious. There are no political/religious judgements of any kind. If anything
we want this book to show the things that unite us a human beings. Things that make us laugh, enjoy value and inevitably also things that make us sad and hopefully think.

As an example while the first chapter re: visas etc. might sound very official and might lead one to expect criticisms or such like..nothing could be further from the truth.
We have gathered a collection of questions from various visa application forms that seemed to us to be
challenging, ambiguous, and/or humorous.

e.g 1. Do you have any distinguishing marks on your body...if 'yes', please describe.

2. Are you infected with any disease? Details of it required, with a polite request to use
seperate sheet if the space is not sufficient.

or how about

3. Have you taken part in Genocide? Please provide details!!!

4. If you have a dual citizenship, please provide a copy of the birth certificate
officially attested by both countries!

Regards.
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  #15  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:35 AM
Kathy Rappaport Kathy Rappaport is offline
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Default Travel Books

Congratulations on your endeavor, Fahim. I am assuing that you are going to self publish.

One of my clients in my accounting world is in publishing and represents some very well known names. It is very difficult to have a book published these days unless you have the right book agent. Travel books in particular are not receiving much success since with the economy people have scaled back travel. In New York, the publishing houses are laying off 100's and closing entire divisions.
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